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German MPs get more say in EU decisions

The Local · 19 Jun 2012, 17:34

Published: 19 Jun 2012 10:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Jun 2012 17:34 GMT+02:00

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The German government must in future give MPs an "early and effective" influence on Berlin's negotiating position rather than ask them to rubber stamp a done deal, the constitutional court said in its ruling.

Analysts said the court's decision would have no impact on Merkel's chances of getting through the bailout fund - the €500-billion European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - on June 29 when both houses of parliament vote on the legislation.

The decision "should have no bearing on ratification of the ESM treaty and the fiscal pact," Barclays Capital economist Thomas Harjes wrote in a note.

The court was ruling on a complaint brought by the opposition Green party, which felt it did not have enough say in negotiations on the permanent ESM bailout fund, due to come into force in July.

While the ruling may influence future changes to EU law, the German government said it would have no effect on treaties already agreed.

"The ruling has no impact on euro decisions already taken," the finance ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the government would implement the ruling, saying it was "in the interests of Germany's European policy.”

Germany will pay €21.7 billion in cash into the fund, designed to finance future potential bailouts of debt-wracked states, and provide €168.3 billion in guarantees.

Merkel has been pushing for more integration in Europe, saying the continent needs a "political union" as a response to the euro crisis.

Volker Kauder, parliamentary head of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and a top ally of the chancellor, said: "The more competences are passed to the European level, the more oversight powers parliament must have."

Germany's constitutional court has a history of strengthening the role of the parliament on European issues.

In February, it struck down a proposal to create a small "crisis cell" of deputies that could take quick and secret decisions on approving emergency aid, stressing that the whole parliament had to be involved.

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And in a closely watched ruling in September, the court judged that the German parliament must have a greater say in future bailouts.

Court president Andreas Voßkuhle said the ruling was "an important building block in a series of decisions from the constitutional court to strengthen parliamentary responsibility in the field of European integration."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

05:41 June 20, 2012 by Buddy Dickerson
The Greeks are the Titanic the euro will crash … these guys are playing the fiddle and trying to bail out Spain, Ireland, Greece Italy and Portugal is like trying to bail water out of the Titanic with a child's beach bucket.

The German people should take a look back in history and remember another time ... they should have stopped their government.

Europe has bigger problems than the leaves on the tree with the Euro. In The Plot to Overthrow by a fellow named Mohammad Goldstein he lays out the big picture on the horizon. Obama, senators and every congressman has a hard copy and you can get it for nothing on the net. This American movement will slap the silly out of your politics.
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